Former PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley is set to return to the Chicago airwaves Monday, when WVON-AM 1690 begins broadcasting his syndicated radio show.
Smiley’s late-night interview show on PBS was suspended back in 2017, following an outside investigation that uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct” that PBS said was “inconsistent” with the organization’s standards and values.
Smiley has consistently denied the claims of unwanted sexual behavior that led to PBS dropping his long-running show.
Back in 2021, Smiley purchased a Los Angeles radio station and now has a talkshow on the station, KBLA-AM 1580, that bills itself as offering “insightful conversations with thought leaders, opinion makers, celebrities, authors and artists. Plus, socially conscious commentary that challenges listeners to re-examine the assumptions they hold, and expand their inventory of ideas.”
His show will air in Chicago from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Oct. 2.
Smiley told WGN TV this week that the show would have “A little bit of everything: politics, entertainment, sports, the arts.”
Asked about the PBS allegations, WVON’s CEO, Melody Spann Cooper, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I have no interest in that.”
Cooper went on to say: “As far as we were concerned, Tavis was on a hiatus. And since he is back — and he is a dynamic personality in the African American community, a truth teller and an amazing story teller about our culture — it is only fitting that he would be at WVON. That’s who we are.”